What We Did This Summer


We know, we know, it seems like summer was ages ago. Snow has fallen and the holidays are here . But, there’s nothing we’d rather do on these cold days than reminisce about summer fun.

This summer, the Treehouse Institute brought Portland a one-of-a-kind event. #CreateYourCity, a festival of imagining and doing held during Maine Startup Create Week, showcased local skills and creativity. Through a series of temporary demonstrations, #CreateYourCity transformed One Canal Plaza into a lively public space.

Here are highlights from the event:

1. Pop-up Bike Shop

Our friends at the Portland Gear Hub came out in full force to create a lively pop-up bike shop. Selling donated gear, including used bikes, the Gear Hub generated funds for their youth programs and raised awareness about their permanent storefront.

2. Tree-ring Installation

Colin Sullivan Stevens, independent artist and inventor of Anchorpak, created a temporary event venue in one of the plaza’s oversized planters. A welcoming and enchanting space emerged with the use of just reflective panels and existing trees. Tree-ring was used for music, meditation and public lectures throughout #CreateYourCity.


Earth Person concert in the Tree-Ring

3. Public Piano

If we learned one thing during #CreateYourCity, it’s that music makes a place great. With the help of Tim Clorius and piano tuner, Alex Peppe, we spruced up a donated piano and placed it in the plaza for anyone to play. People of all ages stopped to tickle the ivories. Thanks to Jessica Esch for capturing this video of a few talented players:

4. MPBN Storybooth

MPBN was on the scene to collect stories and input in their phonebooth. More than X#ofpeopleX stopped by to share their thoughts.

5. Open Air Events

We partnered with local talent to provide open air talks, yoga and music. Thanks to Sarah Schindler…others…for sharing their skills!

6. Parking Reimagined

Sean Wilkinson of Might & Main developed concepts for updated parking signs that could add clarity to Portland’s downtown parking situation. Posted next to existing signs, Sean’s designs demonstrate how signage could be a whole lot clearer.

7. Free Coffee

Our last day in the plaza began with free coffee, courtesy of Tandem Coffee. Who doesn’t love a early morning cup of joe?!

Thank you to everyone who participated in #CreateYourCity. Look for more summer fun, Treehouse style, next year!

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